Britain Hacks Queen's Budget

Bill also increases public audits to royal family's expenses
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2011 9:08 AM CDT
Britain Hacks Queen's Budget
Britain's Queen Elizabeth faces more transparency and budget cuts under legislation announced yesterday.   (AP Photo/David Cheskin-pa)

God might save the queen, but not from budget cuts and the government peeking at her checkbook, reports the Telegraph. The belt-tightening and increased transparency will ensure "value for money" for the royal institution, proponents say; others contend the changes will attack the dignity of monarchy. Under the Sovereign Grant Bill, announced yesterday, the Crown's finances will face audits like any other branch of government. The queen's financing system will also change, so now it will get about 15% of profits from public property owned by the state, amounting to about $56 million per year—an estimated 9% cut by 2015.

“When we say we want 'a good value monarchy’, it makes Her Majesty sound like she’s something to be bought off the shop shelf at Tesco," says one Conservative MP. "This really cannot be the way to approach our constitution." But other politicians said transparency is necessary to improve the institution. “That’s what we’re about, we’re about accountability," said another MP. "And I think they’ve got absolutely nothing to fear.” (More Queen Elizabeth stories.)

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